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MODO to UE4 (Modelling help)

Hi guys,

My brain hurts. I’m definitely more of an artist than a technician. Understanding workflow doesn’t come all that easily to me. I will persevere though, I just need some help.

Are there any good tutorials for working from MODO to UE4? Or any modeling tool (it is all transferable)? The biggest problem I am having is with working with simple meshes in order to have simple lightmaps.

I am trying to create a two-story boathouse. I am much more comfortable putting it all together in MODO. It doesn’t make sense to me to break it up into separate elements (wall, window, floor board, etc). I have a really hard time designing that way. Also, in practical terms, it is much easier to assemble correctly in MODO. The obvious problem with this is that my lightmaps get way out of control (50 floor boards, for example, that can’t overlap).

I understand the ‘separate asset’ approach for more level-type design - long, repeated hallways; big spaces that need filling. However, I am trying to create a much smaller, for focused experience. I don’t need to reuse assets, I want to have unique design throughout. Having to import each element of a single design separately is feeling counter-intuitive.

I would like to watch/read a tutorial of how people are approaching asset design in UE4. I’m a visual person, just watching someone else work can be a big help. But I can’t really find anything yet.

Any advice?

You don’t really have much choice in this department, you have to break up an object that complex if you want to get good lighting. That or you’ll be forced to use fully dynamic lighting which is A) expensive and B) doesn’t look as good. If you limit yourself to one model, you’r putting a strict cap on how much lighting detail you can have. No UV’s can overlap and you’ll only be able to have one lightmap for the entire object. DX11 has a 4096 * 4096 limit but I think in UE it’s capped to 2048. You’re going to hit that limitation pretty hard if you don’t break it up into smaller pieces.

Even centre pieces/focused levels are broken up into smaller sections. You can always model the object in full inside of MODO then break it up into pieces later, each with their own second UV channel for the lightmap. In practice it’s really not a bad thing. A boathouse can only be used once for one project, but a section of wall and a big floorboards piece? You can use those over and over again. Modular modelling is the key to getting good results in Unreal Engine (well any game engine really).

If you haven’t already, go check out Tor Frick’s DVD on Modular Building for UDK on Eat 3D. I personally find Eat 3D ridiculously expensive but their content is good. Tor also models in MODO, so you can get a taste of how the masters do it (he’s worked on Gears of War, Bulletstorm to name a couple).

Also, I suspect that your boathouse won’t be made of one singular material, which again you’ll be limited too (sort of) by using one mesh. And each material can only sample 16 textures, which isn’t as many as it sounds! (That limitation still sucks)

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

Thanks, man. That does help. You make some very good points that have my mindset turning around.

Will definitely check out Tor Frick’s stuff.